This was a perfectly fine book, hampered by its tendency to go just one step further than it needed to at any opportunity. It’s about a science experiment on a space station that goes awry, and people start dying in really gross ways. NASA’s trying to get its astronauts home safely so they can be treated, and the Army is trying to keep everybody quarantined in space so the mysterious new disease doesn’t get back to Earth. It’s all perfectly fine. There are some astronauts, there are some doctors, but nobody ever really grabbed me. I was sorry for them, dying all alone a bazillion miles from home, but it never really crossed the line from “aw, that would suck” to “NO! I want Nikolai to LIVE!” Gerritsen tries to make the characters interesting with an affair, a divorce, some angst between some brothers, etc., but I never really got to the point where I cared much for them.
Plus, she took it too far on several occasions. There’s only one person on the whole planet who could maybe tell the scientists what’s going on, and oops! Car accident. There’s only one pilot brave enough to attempt to fly an untested shuttle up for a rescue attempt, and oh no! Motorcycle accident. And so on. It just seems like everything that could go wrong did, and at some point that just gets silly.
There was a kernel of a good story there, but apparently it’s already been told (I was told to read Andromeda Strain instead). There were some good parts (some of the space/science stuff was interesting, and watching the astronauts figure out how to fight the disease was almost suspenseful), and it was a quick read. I’m learning the value of that as I fall behind on my Cannonball Reading!